LAS VEGAS >> A judge in Las Vegas has sentenced a self-styled pimp to death after he was convicted of killing three people with shots fired into a moving vehicle on the Las Vegas Strip nearly three years ago.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that Judge Kathleen E. Delaney on Monday confirmed a jury recommendation in November that Ammar Asim Faruq Harris, 29 should get the death penalty. He was convicted in October of 11 felony charges, including three counts of first-degree murder.
“The jury spoke and determined that you should be sentenced to the death penalty,” Delaney said.
Harris was found guilty of fatally shooting Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr. on Feb. 21, 2013. Cherry was driving a Maserati sports car that then crashed into a taxi before bursting into flames. The fireball in front of the Caesars Palace and Flamingo resorts killed the cab driver, Michael Boldon, and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund of Maple Valley, Washington. The attack apparently followed a dispute at a hip-hop event at the posh Aria resort.
No one disputed during Harris’ trial that he was the shooter who triggered the pre-dawn carnage. Harris claimed it was in self-defense, although police found no gun in the wrecked Maserati, and no bullet holes in the Range Rover where the shots were fired from.
It took the jury less than 20 minutes on Oct. 26 to find Harris guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder and weapon charges after a week of testimony about the vehicle-to-vehicle shooting and fireball crash. In November, the jury of eight women and four men decided on the death penalty after deliberating for about two hours.
A forensic psychologist testified on his behalf during the penalty hearing, saying that Harris’ father died when he was 2, his mother didn’t enroll him in school, and he was neglected and sexually abused while living in poverty in the New York area.
Harris’ defense attorney has noted that the death sentence will be automatically appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.
Harris is currently serving 16 years to life for raping and robbing an 18-year-old woman in Las Vegas in 2010, although the case is also being appealed to the state Supreme Court. He is also serving an additional five years after pleading guilty this year to masterminding a scheme to smuggle items into prison.